"When I am fully immersed in my life back home, I'll close my eyes and think of this place, and it will emerge in my mind as the perfect magical place in the woods-waiting, always waiting, for someone to walk across its welcoming porch, open the front door, and arrive at the Shangri-La of one's dreams.
For all who have been here, they know. They understand the magic. I believe that's why it's been a closely guarded secret for so many years...shared only amongst discerning and respectful friends."
On New Year's Eve of 1971, two high school friends spent a freezing cold night up in the mountains near their small-town homes. Little did John and Rob know this trip would plant the seeds for a decades-long undertaking, bringing friends from different walks of life together and providing a refuge to spend time away from the stresses of everyday life.
By the Big Cedar Tree is J.W. Embury's captivating account of how building and preserving a secret cabin hidden deep within the Willamette National Forest helped teach five men the importance of respecting nature. As they spent years learning the nuances of the land and holding wilderness pentathlons to test their skills, they also forged lasting bonds of friendship. Enter the woods, walk by the Big Cedar Tree, and step through the front door of a mystical cabin into an unforgettable story.
John Embury was born in Salem, Oregon. In his youth, hiking became John's pathway to the world of nature and discovery--a pathway that has continued throughout his entire life.
His high school accomplishments in Track and Field opened the door for John to attend college on an athletic scholarship. Eventually, he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from George Fox University and has worked in the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries for almost forty years.
He is a father of five children: A son and four beautiful daughters. After thirty-six years of marriage to Sandy, they now have three sons-in-law and six grandchildren. He and Sandy have lived in Boise, Idaho, since 1992. By his own definition, John is just an ordinary guy who values his family and friendships above all else. By The Big Cedar Tree is his first book.